Newbie Question

I work in a small Tool and Die shop where we are required to do a small amount of welding on the odd work piece. My boss was tellin gme about
welders in Europe having to wear lead aprons because of the radiation released during welding. Now I've Googled on this subject and the only hit I get that is of use is this one http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id 909 and while it does mention X-ray radiation:

> can also emit X-rays and many processes use X-ray radiography to determine the quality > of welds.
It gives no figures on the amount of x-rays produced, how much exposure is safe. So I'm wondering if there is a better source of information on this that anyone has? Something comparing it to the amount of radiation you get from a doctor's or dentist's x-ray would be fine. Ken
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Do you electron beam weld? It says the _voltage supplies_ "often" emit X rays. If you do this, you're most likely trained well, 'cuz this stuff ain't cheap. That's the same kind of attitude that says that when you get your teeth X-rayed it might make you infertile. All things are possible, but most things are just about impossible. Do you X-ray welds? If you do, you're most likely trained well, 'cuz this stuff ain't cheap. That means you likely know better anyway. Do you enjoy inhaling welding fumes and metal vapors? If you can inhale the metal vapors for a really, really long time then I suspect you might, in addition to having a helluva set of lungs, you'll have just a touch of radiation in you. Might even be as much natural radiation as was there before you started inhaling metal vapors.
The way I see it, if there were any, even the remotest risk, of a "real" hazard involved, the lawyers would have been in on this years ago.
I speak with no authority. I happen to be a comfortable skeptic, and I do read between the lines as well as what it means when they say things like "may," "often," and "can also," to which my skeptics meter comes alive.
| I work in a small Tool and Die shop where we are required to do a small | amount of welding on the odd work piece. My boss was tellin gme about | welders in Europe having to wear lead aprons because of the radiation | released during welding. Now I've Googled on this subject and the only | hit I get that is of use is this one | http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATION S&p_id 909 | and while it does mention X-ray radiation: | | > The voltage supplies for electron beam welding often emit X-ray radiation. Plasma arcs | > can also emit X-rays and many processes use X-ray radiography to | determine the quality | > of welds. | | It gives no figures on the amount of x-rays produced, how much exposure | is safe. So I'm wondering if there is a better source of information on | this that anyone has? Something comparing it to the amount of radiation | you get from a doctor's or dentist's x-ray would be fine. | Ken
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Ken Vale wrote:

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id 909

welding/cutting on scrapped reactor parts would be most likely source of radiation (of the type a lead apron would intercept)
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Time for a custom sign by the welding area,,,,, "Must wrap nuts in lead foil before entry". This should be on TV for a Lawyer in six months. "have your balls been radiated? do you know a welder who has microwaved his nuts? call 1-800-Sue-4FUN I always get a kick out of hearing this stuff on the radio at the shop or the *Latest* TV commercial :) It used to be air time for trade schools, how times change.......
PS: Don't flame me please, just an observation, thank you.
Rob
Fraser Competition Engines Chicago, IL.

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http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id 909

radiation. Plasma arcs

Ok have read all posts here, and I'm not the most qualified, but when I did my 1st year commercial welding module, and later a Mig top up at my local college in the UK, Europe, WE were not asked told or even was it mentioned to wear lead suits.
I'm sure if I'm wrong some more experienced, and better informed persons here will pop up, but if just welding with Stick, Gas, or Mig, possibly even Tig, then nothing more than good Leather aprons, possibly boots, but defiantly with enclosed tongs fitted, so the little bits don't get to your toes, jackets or lamb or sheep leather arm protectors, Gloves, and the obvious Eye and head gear.
Some metal finishes give off fumes so breathing equipment may be required, but if your getting into this you should have a training top up.
Still this my 2 pence worth, hope it helps, but please remember this is only a thought as to what I've been thought in my very limited experience, and from what has been said here already if your into this X ray welding stuff you should know the answers.
All the best Vaughn
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X-rays are produced when electrons are accelerated by a voltage of greater than around 15KV and then collide with an object usually metallic. This is why the front glass of your TV picture tube is very thick and has a lead content since the electrons collide with the screen after being accelerated by 25KV. Electron beam welding uses voltages of 30KV and up and would certainly produce X-rays.
Your typical arc voltage for MIG, TIG, Stick is much less than 100V so X-rays are not produced. However, the radiation that is produced is ultra-violet which is a longer wavelength form of radiation.
My concern with regular welding and its health hazards are fume inhalation and of course, UV. Proper welding garb protects against the UV but fume inhalation risks are often ignored IMO.
I am not an expert in X-ray radiation but did work with 100KV equipment which could produce X-rays if it wasn't aligned properly.
Billh
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This is my understanding - the arc voltage will be around 20V, whereas to even start kicking out X-rays it has to be at least 20thousand volts (5thousand volts is where by law here in the UK you have to test a consumer electrical device for X-ray production(?)). So you are safe by a factor of a thousand. So that one just is not for real. There won't be very few X-rays at 20V - there will be absolutely zero. There is just not the energy per electron hitting the metal for there to ever be a event energetic enough to generate and X-ray.
So there is absolutely no basis to the worry which has been put to you.
Richard Smith
billh wrote:

>http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id 909

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snipped-for-privacy@ntlworld.com wrote:

Well I was skeptical and that is why I asked. It seemed odd that any potential sorce of x-rays would go unchecked or unprotected. Ken
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says...

OK, this sounds like your boss winding you up, unless he was talking about previously mentioned electron beam welding.
I have been around many different types of welding process, while in possession of various radiation monitoring equipment; film badge, radiation monitor, pendosismeter and none of these have ever picked up anything from people welding.
--
Mike

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Ken
Producing X-rays requires a vacuum tube of sort. It also requires very high voltage, most welding process are low voltage high amp. Supposedly if you pump enough electricity through an ordinary burned out lightbulb, the internal arc in the vacuum will produce X-rays. As you all know X-Rays can be very dangerous ionizing radiation, unlike the UV rays produced by welding they penetrate deeply into tissue. I think your biggest danger with welding are burns and eye injuries.
Scott

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